Two teens admit to Banks break-in
Two teens pleaded guilty on Tuesday in Carbon County court to entering a Banks Township home and removing cash and other items.
Steven Anthony White, 19, of Tresckow, and Patrick Wersinger, 19, of Hazleton, each pleaded to one count of burglary, as a felony one.
The two admitted entering a home at 6 E. Hemlock St., Tresckow, on Sept. 23, 2010. The home owner is Ronald Kokinda, who is chief adult probation officer of Carbon County.
Assistant District Attorney Jean A. Engler told Judge Steven R. Serfass that some of the items removed were family treasures that can never be replaced. Included was the Purple Heart medal won by Kokinda's late father during World War II.
Defense Atty. James Scallion told Serfass that White threw the items away in woods in the area but could not give authorities directions but would be able to show them the area in person.
Wersinger said he was in Tresckow and ran into White on the day of the incident and was asked by him if he would help him enter the home. He said he helped White in the break-in and was given $20 by White. He claimed he did not take possession of any of the items in the home and did not know about the medal.
Serfass accepted the pleas but deferred sentencing and ordered the adult probation office prepare a presentence investigation (PSI) on each defendant. To avoid a conflict of interest due to Kokinda's position, the Lehigh County Adult Probation office has agreed to prepare the PSI.